17 November 2012
Logano on pole for season finale
Once he leaves JGR, Logano will be heading to his new race seat at Penske Racing in the #22 driven over the past 12 months by Kurt Busch, AJ Allmendinger and Sam Hornish Jr. - and it looks like he'll be team mate to the reigning Cup champion, assuming things go to plan this weekend for Brad Keselowski, who leads Jimmie Johnson by 20pts coming into this weekend's title decider.
It's started well for Keselowski, who qualified in third place on Friday comfortably ahead of Jimmie Johnson, who could only manage tenth place on the starting grid.
"I totally expected him to out-qualify us, to be quite honest," said Keselowski, explaining that this had been the case in qualifying at similar recent mile and a half tracks including Chicagoland and Texas Motor Speedway. "I was going to be fine with that. At least we were prepared for the worst and that's not what happened, so I guess we're okay."
“Obviously, this is what you want to do .. you want to qualify well," he added, although he admitted: ""Other than pit stall selection, it's kind of a moot point, in a sense."
Johnson had been busy playing mind games on Keselowski in the build up to this weekend's race, and he admitted that he wished he could have started a little further up the grid to keep applying the pressure to the #2.
"I'd love to have him right there by me when we start the race and put the pressure on him," he said after qualifying. "The best pressure I could put on him would be winning the pole, but we didn't do that.
"I'll find a way to make it good for me if I can," he continued. "We'll get a good pit stall on pit road and go into race trim [Saturday] and make sure we've got our race car right."
As well as Logano, Ambrose and Keselowski, the top ten for the start of Sunday's race will also feature Carl Edwards, Aric Almirola, Michael Waltrip Racing team mates Clint Bowyer and Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Busch and Mark Martin ahead of Johnson.
“I'm pretty pleased to be up front tonight," said second-place man Ambrose. "We haven't been great the last 10 weeks in qualifying, so it feels good to be up here.
"But I've got all the respect in the world for Brad Keselowski and all he does and what he stands for," the Australian added. "If I can be a friend to him on Sunday – I know I might have stolen the spotlight off of him in qualifying – but I'll be his friend out there on Sunday."
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